Edward Willett

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What’s real, and what’s pretend?

My five-year-old daughter just received her first visit from the Tooth Fairy. Soon, of course, she’ll be visited by Santa Claus.Being the scientifically minded parent that I am, I’m always providing my daughter with information about things like why it’s dark now when she gets up in the morning when it used to be light and why the sky is blue. But not everything I tell her has, shall we say, the same basis in reality.No, I don’t lie to her...exactly...but I sometimes tell her certain traditional childhood fables without necessarily making it clear they are, in fact, fables. And so, naturally, I wonder, just how does she distinguish between reality and fantasy?Jean Piaget, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:49, November 21st, 2006 under Blog, Science Columns | 2 Comments »

The Chronicles of Narnia vs. His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman explictly says his fantasy trilogy (I seem to remember reading somewhere that he doesn't like it to be called "fantasy," but fantasy it is, however he feels about it) is an atheistic answer to Lewis's allegorical and Christian Narnia series.I enjoyed His Dark Materials for the most part, but I think Catherine Seipp has perfectly captured my feelings on how the two stack up against each other (and note I would never have thought of stacking them up against each other if Pullman hadn't made a point of how much he detests Lewis and everything Narnian):I’ve read the Narnia series repeatedly over the years...But leaving religion entirely out of it, I can’t imagine ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 20:54, December 22nd, 2006 under Blog | Comment now »

Replacing the u-word with the z-word

YA fantasy author Justine Larbalestier does not like unicorns. Just today she posted:What is it with you people?I tell you what an abomination in the sight of the Lord unicorns are and how much I love love love zombies and what do you do? You send me an endless stream of unicorn-related stuff. Gah!Quit it already! No more!Now zombie related links I’m all for. Fire away. Share your zombie love with me.So, just for fun, I went to Amazon.com, did a book search on the keyword "Unicorn," copied the first 12 hits, and replaced the "u-word" with the "z-word." The results? An inspiring selection of titles from some ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:53, March 15th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

A "new" book by J.R.R. Tolkien due out this year

It's The Children of Húrin, begun 89 years ago, left unfinished (like so much else) when Tolkien died in 1971, and now painstakingly recreated from Tolkien's manuscripts and notes by his son, Christopher.This story from The Independent, though, has a terrible title: "Tolkien Jr. completes Lord of the Rings." The Children of Húrin takes place long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, so in no way does it "complete" what is already a perfectly complete work.

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:57, March 26th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

"Is the universe expanding or contracting?"

The science fiction universe, that is: Publisher's Weekly has a cover story on the state of SF and fantasy publishing. My publisher, DAW, gets a mention although, alas, my book is not the "hot title" from them that gets mentioned.

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:57, April 4th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Wikipedia…

...but with monsters!Seriously, Monstropedia looks like it could be a useful source of information, inspiration and procrastination for fantasy writers.It's a wiki, though, so reader beware when it comes to accuracy.(Via Books, Words, and Writing.)

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:25, May 6th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Fantasy interruptus

I spent the last week or so writing three "audition" chapters for a book packager looking for an author for a new kids' fantasy series. They provided a detailed outline, I provided the words. It was a lot of fun, actually, and I really got into it...so much so that, now that my three chapters are completed, I'm suffering from "fantasy interruptus" and wanting very much to continue the tale--which I won't get to do until and unless I get the gig.Oh, well. I've got lots of Marseguro rewriting left to go...

Posted by Edward Willett at 3:25, May 8th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Lloyd Alexander dies

Lloyd Alexander has died.From SF Scope:Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 30 January 1924, he was a children's fantasy author for half a century (though he did also write several adult novels). He won the 1970 Newbery Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist, for The High King.His books include three well-known series—The Chronicles of Prydain, The Westmark Trilogy, and The Vesper Holly Series—as well as at least 24 other books. His latest, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, is scheduled to be published by his long-time publisher, Henry Holt, in August 2007.Before becoming the writer he'd always wanted to be, Alexander served in the US Army during World War II, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 21:01, May 17th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Prydain: The Website

Yesterday I posted about the death of Lloyd Alexander, author of the Chronicles of Prydain, one of my favorite all-time young adult fantasy series. Today I discovered this gorgeous website about Prydain.(Via Kids Lit.)

Posted by Edward Willett at 21:05, May 18th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Aurora Award finalists announced

The finalists for this years Aurora Awards, Canada's national awards for science fiction and fantasy, have been announced:Best Long-Form Work in EnglishMeilleur livre en anglaisRegeneration : Species Imperative 3, Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books)Children of Chaos, Dave Duncan (Tor Books)Smoke and Ashes, Tanya Huff (DAW Books)Sun of Suns : Book One of Virga, Karl Schroeder (Tor Books)Blindsight, Peter Watts (Tor Books)Righteous Anger : Part Two of the Okal Rel Saga, Lynda Williams (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)Meilleur livre en françaisBest Long-Form Work in FrenchSamuel de la chasse-galerie, Michel J. Lévesque (Médiaspaul)Les îles du Zodiaque 3. Le maître des bourrasques, Laurent McAllister (Médiaspaul)...

Posted by Edward Willett at 3:59, September 8th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »